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‘Black Box’ Clarity in Truck Crashes

Truck FLT

Accidents with big-rig trucks injure thousands of drivers and riders every year.  The massive size, weight, and momentum make commercial truck accidents almost always catastrophic.  Anything they collide with does not stand much of a chance – often resulting in serious personal injury that can be life-changing.

As an attorney who represents Chicagoland clients in auto and truck accident claims, I fight for victims every day to gain the benefits they deserve.   

In representing victims, I must prove negligence on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company, the maintenance provider, or the manufacturer in order to obtain the compensation you deserve.  As part of my comprehensive investigation of the accident, I utilize the unique technology available in what some call the ‘black box’ in commercial trucks.

The Black Box.

Trucks manufactured in the United States have an Electronic Control Module (ECM) integrated with their engine components.  It monitors, tracks, and records a variety of on-going data on the operation of the truck – similar to ‘black boxes’ on airplanes.   Originally designed to capture warranty information, the ECM delivers precision factual data on the operation and maintenance of the truck.

As an experienced personal injury attorney, this data is extremely useful to me in providing information on what that may have contributed to the accident.  I learn:

  • The truck’s speed immediately prior to the crash.
  • Whether there was a sudden deceleration.
  • If and when breaks were applied.
  • Whether the truck was using cruise control.
  • Whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
  • Whether the airbag deployed.
  • Tire pressure.
  • GPS location information.

Considering how valuable this evidence can be to the victim, as an experienced personal injury attorney, I take a number of steps to preserve and properly interpret the data taken from the ECM.

Timing is Critical.

ECM data is typically recorded for a period of 30-days; then, re-records over the previous data – thereby erasing it.  Therefore, it is critical to secure and preserve this data as soon as possible following the accident.

In addition to the ECM data, trucking companies frequently utilize electronic modules within the cab to record dispatching or delivery information.  Securing this information from the trucking company can yield useful information regarding hours of service, truck maintenance, and vehicle performance.  

Should the ECM data differ from driver logs, there is a strong indication of poor internal control and compliance with trucking regulations.  

This factual data can be at the heart of establishing fault, negligence, and compensation for the victim.

Interpretation and Pursuit.

Determining who is liable requires a thorough investigation.  We apply a disciplined approach to gain a comprehensive perspective on the facts, issues, the suffering experienced by the victim, and the impact the accident has had on you and your family.   

As a result of our investigation, the responsible parties can include . . . the truck driver . . . cargo loaders . . . the trucking company . . . equipment manufactures . . . other negligent drivers . . . and even government entities. Additionally, Federal and local laws may be involved.

Victims need a skilled attorney to properly navigate through the information to protect their rights.  Experience counts.

We Help Victims.

The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those injured in an accident with a commercial truck.   Accidents involving collisions with trucks are complex.

We know your rights and the applicable laws.  We are your advocates.

Big corporations and insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate.    In order to deal with these professionals, you need a highly-trained, skilled attorney to protect your rights.  We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Experience counts.

We make the legal process as stress-free as possible.  We focus on recovering the compensation you deserve, while you focus on healing.    

If you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.

William J. Turner

William Turner has represented hundreds of working men and women who have been victims of the negligence of others – gaining equitable compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering for his clients. He concentrates his practice in the trial of complex personal injury cases, including car and truck accidents, construction mishaps, medical malpractice, dog and animal attacks, nursing home abuse, and slip-and-falls. Additionally, he offers niche counsel and advocacy for workers who are injured on a job.

William has obtained judgements from juries in approximately 150 cases and has secured fair and comprehensive settlements in even more over his career. William Turner has dedicated his professional life to fighting for the rights of those who are injured as a result of the negligent acts of others.

Favorable Outcomes.

Faster Settlements.

Equitable Reimbursements.


The law firm of Friend, Levinson & Turner provides people just like you with practical solutions and representation for their legal needs when faced with a serious personal injury.

We understand and respect the dignity of individuals. We listen, advise, represent and counsel.

We unburden people of the stressful legal matters so they can focus on healing and their recovery. Our client's well-being is our priority.

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